BACON CORNMEAL VENETOS

Makes about 3 to 4 dozen cookies.

Note: From Julie Bollmann of Chanhassen, Wendy Kleiser of Minneapolis, Joan Koller of Jordan, Geri Olson of Shoreview and Mary Urbas of Woodbury. As for the “Venetos” name, the cookie is “a modern twist on a classic cookie recipe which originated in the Veneto region of Italy,” wrote Bollmann. Imitation maple flavoring is used in the frosting to bump up its flavor. Use the real thing with the cookies, though.

For cookie:

• 3/4 c. golden raisins

• 4 bacon strips, cooked and chopped into small pieces, about 1/2 c.

• 1 c. finely ground yellow corn meal

• 1 1/2 c. flour

• 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

• Pinch of salt

• 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 6 tbsp. pure maple syrup (Grade B preferred)

• 2 eggs

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For glaze:

• 1 c. powdered sugar

• 1/4 tsp. imitation maple flavoring (see Note)

• 1 tbsp. unsalted butter

• 2 tbsp. milk

Directions

To prepare cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, cover raisins with warm water and soak for 15 minutes. Strain, reserving raisins.

In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt.

In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream 1 cup butter and maple syrup until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Stir in raisins and bacon.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place dough 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden brown on the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, cool 2 minutes and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare glaze: In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and cook until butter turns brown; do not burn. Remove from heat. Add powdered sugar, maple flavoring and milk, and whisk until glaze is smooth and a single consistent color. Drizzle glaze on cooled cookies.